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10 Best and Most Memorable Projects of 2013


It’s that time of the year when we take a week break and unplug from the internet. Before we step away, it is our duty to highlight some of the projects that we found to be the most memorable. With over 600 posts and almost 500 projects featured on CAN in the last year, this is not an easy task. As always, we’ve selected a shortlist of particularly outstanding work – so here are our 10 most memorable projects of 2013.

10. Kinematics – System for 3D printing complex, foldable forms

Developed by Nervous System, Kinematics is a system for 3D printing that creates complex, foldable forms composed of articulated modules. The system provides a way to turn any three-dimensional shape into a flexible structure using 3D printing. The system combines computational geometry techniques with rigid body physics and customisation to take large (flexible) objects and compress them down for 3D printing through simulation. Read more…

9. Light Leaks – Filling a room with projected light

Created by Kyle McDonald and Jonas Jongejan for the CLICK Festival 2013 in Helsingør, Denmark, Light Leaks is a light installation comprised of fifty mirror balls projecting controlled light in the room. The pile of fifty mirror balls are situated in the centre of the room that has three projectors pointed at them. After placing everything approximately in their desired locations, it takes Kyle and Jonas about 15 minutes to take a series of five or six of structured light scans, consisting of 41 images each, where they photograph different patterns reflecting off the balls and hitting the walls. This collection of 200-250 images allows them to reconstruct the position of every pixel being projected by every projector. Images are finally projected in the room through the reflections. Read more…

8. inFORM – Dynamic Shape Display from Tangible Media Group

Created at the Tangible Media Group / MIT Media Lab, inFORM is a Dynamic Shape Display that can render 3D content physically, so users can interact with digital information in a tangible way. The project uses Kinect for input and a custom 30×30 actuator table, displays and projectors for output. 150 custom Arduino PCB’s are controlled by custom software written in openFrameworks. The process includes capturing Kinect data, running colour tracking and generating normalise image and combining into 3d tracking, also running touch tracking and generating a combined depth map which is converted into the position of pistons. For more information, see the links below. Read more…

7. Vanishing Point – UVA redraws perspective with light

Created by UVA, Vanishing Point employs perspective as both tool and visual outcome to reshape, redefine and represent a pristine space. Inspired by sketches of Great Masters like Leon Battista Alberti, Leonardo DaVinci or Albrecht Dürer, UVA sends lines into space from an arbitrary vanishing point, creating different volumes, divisions and rooms to be explored by the audience. Read more…

6. Do Not Touch – Celebrate the nearing end of the humble computer cursor

Created by Amsterdam based studio Moniker (Roel Wouters, Luna Maurer, Jonathan Puckey), Do Not Touch is a crowd-sourced music video for the band Light Light and is the second project (starting with Pointer Pointer) in a series of projects that celebrate the ”nearing end of the humble computer cursor”. Viewers of the music video are presented with a warning that their cursors are being recorded and are given instructions, which they can follow by moving their cursors. In the background, clouds of cursors from visitors from the past follow the same instructions. First viewers interact on top of a computer display and then halfway through the camera zooms out, revealing a whole new world of optionsRead more…

5. Aireal – Interactive tactile experiences in free air by Disney Research

Created by the Disney Research group and presented at the most recent SIGGRAPH 2013, Aireal is a low cost, scalable haptic technology that delivers expressive tactile sensations in mid air. Aireal enables users to feel virtual objects, experience dynamically varying textures and receive feedback on full body gestures, all without requiring the user to wear a physical device. Potential uses include gaming and story telling, mobile interfaces, and gesture control among many others. Read more…

4. Sound of Honda – Ayrton Senna’s Fastest F1 Lap (1989) in Light and Sound

With over 100 sensors and 6.5 billion data points delivered in real-time, today the F1 is as much as about predicting the future as it is about shaving milliseconds on the circuit. In 1989, Ayrton Senna set the world’s fastest lap during the F1 Japanese Grand Prix Qualifying. His driving data of that lap was recorded and collected through telemetry system, a technology introduced to F1 by Honda. This project, a collaboration between Dentsu, Honda Motor and Rhizomatiks brings back Senna’s engine sound from that lap 24 years ago in the form of an installation set on the original Suzuka circuit that uses light and sound. Read more…

3. Reactor for Awareness in Motion (RAM) by YCAM

Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media (YCAM) has played an active role in cultivating creative and research environments to support the art & technology of the next generation. Since 2011, they have carried out “Reactor for Awareness in Motion”, a research project for developing tool for dance creation and education, with Yoko Ando, a dancer from The Forsythe Company, a leading contemporary dance company and programmers from Japan and the US. Professionals in dance and technology shared an innovative concept in dance and developed it in the form of a physical tool and workshop. It is a revolutionary project in the sense that the technology is not only for theatrical effect, but also to embody one of the very natures of dance and communicate it with the world. Read more…

2. Avena+ Test Bed – Agricultural printing and altered landscapes

Created by Benedikt Groß, Avena+ Test Bed is a project that explores the relationship between landscape, agriculture and digital fabrication by intercepting the process of precision farming by generative design. The emphasis of the project lays in speculating about new models which would enhance current agricultural practices, and to then imagine their possible implications. The project uses the idea of “Agricultural Printing” to explore the possibilities of digital fabrication carried over into farming. The experiment applies algorithms to partition and to create an environmentally beneficial arrangement of plantation to establish, or improve, the connectivity for fauna and flora between habitats. Read more… (+ interview here)

1. Silk Pavillion – CNC Deposited Silk & Silkworm Construction at the MIT Media Lab

Created at the Mediated Matter Research Group at the MIT Media Lab, The Silk Pavilion explores the relationship between digital and biological fabrication on product and architectural scales. The primary structure was created of 26 polygonal panels made of silk threads laid down by a CNC (Computer-Numerically Controlled) machine, followed by a swarm of 6,500 silkworms spinning flat non-woven silk patches as they locally reinforced the gaps across CNC-deposited silk fibers. Inspired by the silkworm’s ability to generate a 3D cocoon out of a single multi-property silk thread (1km in length), the overall geometry of the pavilion was created using an algorithm that assigns a single continuous thread across patches providing various degrees of density. Overall density variation was informed by the silkworm itself deployed as a biological “printer” in the creation of a secondary structure. Read more…

Happy holidays from all of us at CAN!